Professional Development Meetings

On the first Wednesday of the month at 3:00 pm ET we learn together. Meetings include a speaker sharing about climate change science, research, extension, and/or communication, a facilitated Q&A/discussion, and time permitting updates from the NECI Executive Committee.

Upcoming Speakers

September 6, 2023
Rupert Read, University of East Anglia

October 4, 2023
Details soon…

November 1, 2023
Details soon…

December 6, 2023
Details soon…

Upcoming Speakers

Join us Wednesday, Sept. 6th at 3:00 PM (ET) for NECI’s Professional Development meeting “The Climate Majority Project,” with Dr. Rupert Read, Co-Director of the Climate Majority Project.  

DON”T MISS THIS PROVACATIVE DISCUSSION!!   The Climate Majority Project works to accelerate citizen climate action towards system change, and helps a mass movement to see its own power. We believe that the majority of people are concerned about the climate and want to see progressive change on this area, but this majority needs to be deepened and activated.  The Climate Majority Project aims to help a majority of people in the UK who care about climate change to understand that they are powerful together, and take meaningful action, relevant to themselves and their communities.  We will discuss this current initiative and explore if and how this work could be applied in a United States context.  

Dr. Rupert Read’s Bio (from “Are you deeply concerned about the future of our planet and the welfare of all who inhabit it? Me too. I’m about to leave my role as Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia and dedicate myself full time to the Climate Majority Project as its co-director.  Everywhere and everyone is now on the climate frontline. As a result, we need action, not just activists. The Climate Majority Project aims to help a majority of people in the UK who care about climate and nature – i.e. who care about our very future – to understand that they are powerful together, and to take meaningful action, relevant to themselves and their communities.   … I have extensive experience arguing for the ecology in media. I have written for many newspapers and websites as well as radio and podcasts.”   Dr. Read is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles and books (including Do you want to know the truth? The surprising rewards of climate honesty, This Civilisation is Finished: Conversations on the end of Empire – and what lies beyond, and Parents for a Future: How loving our children can prevent climate collapse

Previous Speakers

August 2, 2023: Whose Science?” “Decolonizing” Extension Climate Change Educational Methodology
Cathy “Cat” Techtmann will be discussing G-WOW and Minisan, Wisconsin’s innovative climate change learning efforts with the Ojibwe people. Cathy is a Professor of Community Resource Development and an Environmental Outreach State Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. She will share how Extension climate outreach can be “decolonized” using educational methodologies that integrate Indigenous science and “academic” knowledge to build climate awareness and adaptation strategies for all cultures and locations.

Watch the recording.
Read the chat.
View the slides.

June 7, 2023
Dr. Sarah Jaquette Ray presented on Emotional Skills for Saving the Planet. What will it take to imagine desire, and thrive in a climate-changed world? We already have the technological, scientific, and economic tools to address the climate crisis, but what emotional resources are needed to put those tools into action? How can we live our best lives and bring our best selves to climate justice, in the face of so much degradation and suffering? In this talk, Dr. Ray explored these questions drawing on her book, A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet. 

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

May 3, 2023
Heidi Roop, Director, Minnesota Climate Adaptation Program, presented on Coordinated Climate Resilience Extension in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership ( is developing a coordinated Climate Resilience Extension Program focused on weather and climate-related preparedness and resilience to help communities, businesses, farmers, and others adapt to a changing climate. Through the implementation of the Climate Resilience Extension Program, we aim to create a transferable model for other states, leveraging the power of Extension to serve as a critical partner in the provision of sustained, trusted, and responsive climate services.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

April 5, 2023
Derek Kauneckis, Senior Resilience Analyst and Services Lead at ISeeChange and Associate Research Faculty, The Desert Research Institute (DRI) presented on the use of hyperlocal experiential data in climate adaptation and resilience planning. The presentation, “Amplifying the value of community knowledge through community data platforms,” discussed how ISeeChange is being used as a community-focused data platform, how ISeeChange data has resulted in direct community impacts, and emerging applications in infrastructure resilience and climate adaptation planning. 

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

March 1, 2023
Angela TenBroeck, Center for Sustainable Agriculture Excellence and Conservation (CSAEC), presented on “The TEAM of companies/organizations working on Social and Environmental Justice in the climate smart commodity movement for local health and wealth.” The TEAM of companies and organizations focuses on promoting social and environmental justice within the climate smart commodity movement. They aim to create both local health and wealth by utilizing sustainable practices in the production of commodities and promoting equitable distribution resources. Angela’s personal motto is, “In the quest to be the best I can every day. I can’t help where I was born or the circumstances that shaped me, I can change where I go and what I do.”

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”
Watch the Woman of the Year video featuring Angela TenBroeck.

February 1, 2023
Jerri Husch, Coordinator of Delaware Extension Climate Change Coordination Initiative, University of Delaware, and PhD Sociologist with a background in national and international climate change adaptation policy, discusses “Introducing ‘Action Insights.'” Action Insights offers a standard coding strategy and the use of visualizations to help identify and “make sense” of the complex sets of activities related to addressing the impacts of climate change. The presentation will focus on the basic steps of collecting, organizing, and coding information gathered from texts, images, and interviews.

Watch the recording.
View the slides.
Read the “Chat.”

January 4, 2023
Breaking the Climate Avoidance Habit
Mick Smyer, founder and CEO of Growing Greener: Climate Action for a Warming World, combines principles of psychology, design and behavioral economics to help people and organizations replace their habit of climate avoidance with a specific action, and move forward to the next step on their climate journeys. How can we help you move your circles of influence to climate action?

Watch the recording.
View the slides.
Read the “Chat.”

December 7, 2022
Climate Disinformation
Kate Cell, Senior Climate Campaign Manager, Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists, presents several case studies about specific disinformation campaigns related to climate and COP as well as talking about disinformation in general. The Union of Concerned Scientists has expressed an interest in establishing a relationship with Extension and we hope this may provide that opening opportunity.

Watch the recording.
View the slides.
Read the “Chat.”

November 2, 2022
Sustainable Floridians Benchmarking and Monitoring Program
Jennison Kipp, Sustainable Communities State Specialized Extension Agent with the University of Florida IFAS Extension, presents on an innovative model for Extension programming that navigates the complex nature of and engages the many private- and public-sector decision makers who drive land development decisions in Florida. Developed and delivered in partnership with The Nature Conservancy Florida Chapter, the UF/IFAS Sustainable Floridians Benchmarking and Monitoring Program, or “SF-BMP” is a performance-based, integrated, and collaborative approach to reduce the footprint of land development in Florida.

Watch the recording.
View the slides.

October 5, 2022
EcoActUS – an online multimedia platform
Michael Linn, a Climate Reality trained leader, the Chair of the Dallas Climate Reality Business Working Group, and a member of the National Business Working Group, presents the EcoActUs online multimedia platform. EcoActUs is better than your typical climate change presentations, it engages the user while guiding them to develop a climate action plan with solutions that they can incorporate into their daily work.
The goals of this professional development presentation are to: Introduce the EcoActUs platform to NECI so they may evaluate it as the program to offer to all Extension Professionals; demonstrate its flexibility and access to experts and in-depth material that we can all use when looking for sustainable solutions to the climate crisis; explore the logistics and benefits of offering the course to interested NECI members as a self-guided online program with periodic Zoom meetings to discuss the material; and solicit NECI’s help in developing two new tracks that will be offered by EcoActUs namely, Regenerative Agriculture and Oceans and Water Systems.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

September 7, 2022
En-ROADS Climate Simulator
Harry Crissy, a Penn State Extension Agent, presents an interactive presentation on the En-ROADS Climate Simulator. En-ROADS is a freely available online simulator that provides policymakers, educators, businesses, the media, and the public with the ability to test and explore cross-sector climate solutions.  After a brief introduction to the model and modeling software, we will run an interactive simulation exercise.

Watch the recording.

August 3, 2022
ICLEI: Multi-Level Approach to Governments and Authorities on Climate Change
Kale Roberts, from ICLEI: Local Governments For Sustainability to discuss their multi-level approach to governments and authorities on climate change. The goal of this presentation is to help the NECI membership better understand the relevance (policy/networking/intellectual/practical) of the kinds of negotiations that go on within the COP related workstream events to state and locally-oriented educators who have a strong interest in climate related topics.

Watch the recording.

July 6, 2022
Unique Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the U.S.
Dr. Karletta Chief, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Arizona, presents an overview of climate change impacts on tribal water resources and the subsequent cascading effects on livelihoods and cultures of American Indians and Alaska Natives living on tribal lands in the U.S. Although each tribal community experiences their own impacts because of their individual history, culture, and geographic setting, many of the observed impacts are categorized as impacts on – 1) water supply and management (including water sources and infrastructure), 2) aquatic species important for culture and subsistence, 3) ranching and agriculture particularly from climate extremes (e.g. droughts, floods), 4) tribal sovereignty and rights associated with water resources, fishing, hunting, and gathering, and 5) soil quality (e.g. coastal and, in Alaska, riverine erosion, degradation) prompting tribal relocation.

Watch the recording.

June 1, 2022
We Need an Epidemic of Climate Action to Reach a Social Tipping Point for Change
Dr. Sara Via, The Climate Corner, presents that the majority of Americans accept the reality of climate change and support policies that reduce emissions. Even so, we are falling way behind on the implementation of climate actions that will hold global temperature increase to 1.5oC. History reveals that social pressure is often required for change, as illustrated by the suffragist movement and the struggle for civil rights. Recent models suggest that social interventions can provide the “activation energy” needed to overcome a recalcitrant status quo on climate and incorporating social feedbacks into climate models makes acceptable outcomes more likely. If we think about social change in epidemiological terms, it becomes clear that change is an exponential process driven by the “transmission rate” of ideas and motivation for action. Models of behavioral change and recent work in climate change communication suggest tactics that may increase the “transmissibility” of climate motivation and accelerate our arrival at the all-important social tipping point. 

Watch the recording.
View the slides.
Read the “Chat.”
Presenter Comments and Resources.

May 4, 2022
Dr. Zachary Goff-Eldredge, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, discusses agrivoltaics. His projects are focused on finding innovative ways to manage land-use of solar energy, including innovative siting solutions such as combining solar energy and agricultural production. In collaboration with National Laboratories and SETO’s sister offices in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Zach works to improve models that are important in understanding the growth and operation of solar energy and to conduct and assist in analysis relating to decarbonization of the electric grid and wider energy system.

Watch the video.
Read the “Chat.”

April 6, 2022
Climate Changemakers: An Interactive Panel
Holly Abeels, University of Florida Sea Grant and County Extension Agent, presents on the Climate Smart Floridians Extension program.
Maureen McCarthy, Project Director of Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) and the Desert Research Institute, presents about the NWAL programming and their USDA NIFA-Hub climate project entitled, Native Climate: Strengthening the role of Climate Hubs in Indian Country.
Patricia Townsend, Washington State Natural Resources Extension Specialist, presents about her NSF Extension project entitled, Climate Change Community Programs and Opportunities.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

March 2, 2022
Climate Ready America: How the U.S. can meet its climate goals by developing a nationwide system of climate resilience support services for local leaders.
Tonya Graham, Executive Director, and Kim Adams, Organization and Strategy Analyst, Geos Institute present on Tonya’s soon to be finalized proposal, “Climate Ready America: How the U.S. can meet its climate goals by developing a nationwide system of climate resilience support services for local leaders.” This proposal is a big-picture, conceptual piece for mobilizing and supporting local and regional mitigation and adaptation efforts within a coordinated framework. It highlights what are considered to be highly Extension-compatible strategies like directly supporting community action, promoting best practices and regularly updating information and processes, and providing consistency and measuring outcomes.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

February 2, 2022
Support Climate and Environmental Action with Marginalized Communities
Mr. Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper, presents on ways to Support Climate and Environmental Action with Marginalized Communities. Mr. Tutman is a journalist, lawyer, farmer, community organizer, and expert in environmental injustice. In 2004 he founded Patuxent Riverkeeper based in Upper Marlboro Maryland where Fred was born and raised, as were seven generations of his ancestors. “When you say the words ‘environmental justice’ most people think you are talking only about Black folks or people of color. We see it in a much more expansive sense. These are usually David and Goliath class-based fights where people with far less power are largely fighting people with an exorbitant amount of power and money. You don’t find many rich white communities fighting off coal-fired power plants or factory farms or sewage discharges. Those, frankly, are placed where there is less money and less power, and the two seem to go together.”

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

December 2, 2021
Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need
Dr. Mike Hoffmann, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, presents on his book, Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need, and the companion website. Written by Hoffmann, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, and Danielle L. Eiseman, the authors “offer an eye-opening journey through a complete menu of before-dinner drinks and salads; main courses and sides; and coffee and dessert. Our Changing Menu is a celebration of food and a call to action―encouraging readers to join with others from the common ground of food to help tackle the greatest challenge of our time. Their story is rounded out with a primer on the global food system, the causes and impacts of climate change, and what we can all do.”

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

November 4, 2021
Climate Stewardship: Taking Collective Action to Protect California
Dr. Adina Merenlender, UCANR and UC Berkeley, presents on her book, Climate Stewardship: Taking Collective Action to Protect California, that provides stories of community-scale climate action from everyday people. The climate science underpinning these actions is woven throughout the stories, making it easy for people to learn about climate change without losing hope. “It’s science in a narrative form to share what can be done on the ground,” explains author Dr. Merenlender, an internationally recognized conservation biologist. Merenlender explores how communities are addressing wildfires, drier deserts, wetland restoration, climate-wise farming, climate justice, urban heat islands, and ocean temperature rise to make natural, working, and urban landscapes more resilient.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

October 7, 2021
North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3)
Hans Schmitz, Posey County Extension Director and Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Purdue University
Aaron B. Wilson, Atmospheric Scientist, The Ohio State University, and Extension Climate Specialist and Research Scientist, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
Schmitz and Wilson present how they have successfully launched a regional collaboration of Extension professionals, the North Central Climate Collaborative (NC3), to provide a foundation for lasting climate education.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

September 2, 2021
Disruption in the Age of Humans
Dr. Rob Davies, Utah State University, presents on messaging the complexities of climate change to Extension constituencies. In the words of Winston Churchill, “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…” From this moment forward our nation, indeed all nations, will be engaged in a full court press to halt further disruptions to Earth’s climate system as rapidly as possible. We need messengers. With its reach into every one of our nation’s 3,031 counties, Extension is poised to play an outsize role in moving us to the “all hands on deck” posture that we must achieve. To fill this role for their clients, Extension Professionals need a firm grasp of the challenge: the scale of risk, the scale of response, and the context into which all of this fits. Davies discusses how he approaches this story, and gets all of us thinking about the narratives we will develop to engage our communities.

Watch the recording.
Read the “Chat.”

August 4, 2021
This meeting was cancelled; the featured speaker/topic will be rescheduled.

July 1, 2021
Robert E. Kopp, Ph.D., Director, Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; Co-Director, Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Initiative, Rutgers University

June 3, 2021
Georgia Basso, National Lead and Julian Reyes, National Coordinator, USDA Climate Hubs

May 6, 2021
Climate Change in Extension: Evaluating and Amplifying Action outcomes

April 1, 2021
Climate Change in Extension: Evaluating and Amplifying Action event planning

March 4, 2021
Patricia Townsend
, Natural Resources Regional Extension Specialist, and Heather Teegarden, Sustainable Community Steward, Washington State University, “City of Shoreline Climate Champions Series”

February 4, 2021
NECI Strategic Planning

January 7, 2021
NECI Strategic Planning

December 10, 2020
NECI Strategic Planning

November 5, 2020
NECI Strategic Planning

October 8, 2020
NECI Strategic Planning

September 10, 2020
Collin Adkins, Environment & Energy Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension “Community Energy Engagement Program” (starts at: 11:40)

August 6, 2020
Allison Morrill Chatrchyan, Senior Research Associate, Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Depts. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences & Global Development, “Overview of Cornell’s Climate Smart Solutions Program and Cornell Climate Smart Farming Program”
Sabrina Drill, David Kay, Susan Kocher, “CONVERGE Working Group priorities: Natural hazards and the pandemic”

July 9, 2020
David Kay, “Land Use Implications of Large Scale Solar Development”

June 4, 2020
John Cobourn, (Water Resource Specialist, Emeritus, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension), Caiti Steele (Coordinator and Deputy Director of the USDA Southwest Climate Hub) and Ros McCann (Utah State University), prior work from 2016 Southwest Extension Climate Workshop, co-sponsored by the Southwest Regional Climate Hub and application to NECI
Sara Via, Professor and Climate Extension Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, “Climate and Sustainability Webinar Series,” and the EnROADS Climate Change Solutions Simulator training.   
Rachel Steele, National Program Leader, Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, USDA Agricultural Research Service, “USDA Climate Hubs and Extension: A Growing Partnership Opportunity” 
Amulya Rao, Evaluation Specialist, UW-Madison Division of Extension Natural Resources Institute, “Ongoing climate change-related efforts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Extension
Paul Lachapelle, “Overview of Climate Smart Montana and 4-H Climate Curriculum
Natalie Carroll, Professor, Purdue University, “Youth Weather and Climate Curricula Overview

May 7, 2020
Chris Jones, University of Arizona, and Melissa Kreye, Penn State, Extension Leadership and COVID-19     
Sabrina Drill, UC Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County, and Amber Gray, UW–Madison, communications platforms for our NECI group (MS Teams, etc.)    
Paul Lachapelle, Montana State University, recent conversations regarding partnerships/opportunities with JCEP, eXtension and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant    
Katie Ann Callahan, Director, Clemson University Center for Watershed Excellence, Clemson University, ”Citizen science monitoring program in freshwater and saltwater and how we are including impacts of climate change”      
Amulya Rao, Evaluation Specialist, UW-Madison Division of Extension Natural Resources Institute “Highlights about UW Extension’s climate change programming”     
Paul Monaghan, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist in Community-Based Social Marketing, Center for Land Use Efficiency, University of Florida, “A warming climate and the prevention of heat related illness among farmworkers in Florida”    
Eric Norland, NIFA National Science Liaison, Environment and Natural Resources “Update: Climate Change and USDA.”

April 2, 2020
Peter Barcinas, Extension Agent III/Assistant Professor, Economic and Community Systems, University of Guam, “Climate change collaboration work we are doing with Extension and GovGuam and Federal agencies”      
Sabrina Drill, Natural Resources Advisor, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, University of California Cooperative Extension, “Connecting communities to build climate resilience: Climate programming in California and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)”                                          
Sherrie Gruder, Sustainable Design Specialist and Energy Program Manager, UW-Madison Division of Extension, “Wisconsin Extension’s Climate Leadership Team”                   
Tyler Williams, Ag Climate and Weather Extension Educator, University of Nebraska Extension, “Weather Ready Nebraska,”

March 5, 2020